What is atopic eczema?

Atopic Eczema Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

 

Atopic eczema is a skin condition characterised by dry skin patches all over the body. It is typically seen on the fingers, wrists, insides of the elbow, backs of the knees, and the neck. Sometimes, eczema can also be seen on the face and scalp.

Children and babies tend to get atopic eczema on their faces and scalp before the condition progresses throughout other body areas.

Mild atopic eczema is characterised by only a few patches of localised dry skin. More severe cases may present with dry skin patches all over their bodies.

Atopic eczema symptoms

Symptoms of the skin condition include the following:

  • Itchiness that may be at times unbearable, especially at night
  • Dryness of the skin
  • Redness and inflammation on affected skin areas
  • Sore and cracked skin
  • Thickening of the affected skin areas
  • An abnormal skin colour

Atopic eczema is characterised by periods of sudden flare-ups and remissions. The condition tends to show up when an affected person is exposed to certain triggering substances or things.

Atopic eczema diagnosis

An online video consultation with our GPs can jumpstart a successful diagnosis and treatment of your atopic eczema.

Your GP will ask you about your specific symptoms and may inspect the affected skin areas. He can also go through your medical and family histories.

If you have an unusual case, the doctors may refer you to a specialist, typically a dermatologist.

 

Atopic eczema causes

There is no specific known cause of atopic eczema. However, certain risk factors for getting the skin condition have been identified, such as:

 

  • A family history of eczema
  • Often having dry skin
  • Suffering from asthma or a different allergy

 

Atopic eczema causes the skin to dry up quickly. This is because the skin finds it difficult to retain moisture properly. The result is skin that’s dry, reddened, sore, and itchy. The affected skin is also more likely to be exposed to irritants, allergens, and other environmental factors.

Atopic eczema treatment

Currently, there is no known cure for atopic eczema. Treatment options exist for the management of its symptoms. Your treatment will depend on the severity of your symptoms and what works best for your condition.

 

Here are treatment options for the management of your eczema symptoms:

  • Antihistamines
  • Emollients, a type of special moisturiser in lotion, cream, or ointment forms
  • Topical corticosteroids
  • Medicated wraps and bandages

 

Atopic eczema in pregnancy

Pregnancy can cause several changes in your skin, and atopic eczema can be among these changes. You can either have improving or worsening atopic eczema symptoms if you already have the disease even before you were pregnant.

 

Ask your doctor about the recommended treatment options for you. Plenty of treatment options are safe to use for pregnancy and won’t harm your unborn baby. You can also get advice and support from them if you are worried about how the skin condition will affect your baby.